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Chapter 17: The Power of Stones

Eva, upon opening her eyes, absentmindedly stared at an unfamiliar ceiling.

(Where am I?)

Sensing the presence of people around her, she moved her head, and an elderly man with prominent white hair and a kind face peered into Eva’s eyes.

“Have you noticed?”

“Where am I?”

“This is a room in the royal palace. Oh, you don’t have to get up yet. I am the court physician. Don’t worry, young lady.”


“Yeah, let me check if you have any injuries.”

A waiting maid behind him wiped Eva’s face and body with a warm towel, and she felt extremely comfortable, yielding to the care.

After the maid cleaned her, the physician examined Eva’s arms and legs.

“You’ve got bruises on your arms and legs, but they should disappear in a few days. Keep your cheeks cool. You’ve got small cuts on the soles of your feet and ankles, so apply this ointment every day.”

It seemed she got scratched by running barefoot through grass.

“Yes, thank you.”

“I don’t intend to ask what happened, but because it occurred within the royal palace this time, there’s one thing that needs confirmation. I apologize to the young lady, but while you were unconscious, I’ve been investigating with the waiting maid here.”

With a stern expression, Eva nodded.

On the night of the ball, a man assaulted a woman within the royal palace. It’s easy to imagine what happened. Without an investigation, the dignity of the host, the king, would be compromised.

“It’s alright. Thank you for investigating.”

She knew it was necessary to confirm that her purity remained intact.

Recalling the interaction with Count Burke, Eva involuntarily clenched her trembling hands.

The maid noticed and gently enveloped Eva’s hand.

“You did well. It’s okay now.”

A kind voice and warm hand gradually eased Eva’s heart.

“There’s someone waiting for you in the corridor, worrying about you. What would you like to do? Do you want to meet him?”

Who could it be… Lucas?

How long had she been unconscious? It was undoubtedly a considerable wait.

She knew her appearance was terrible, but she couldn’t keep them waiting any longer.

After some hesitation, she requested that he come in.

She tried to at least sit up, but to her surprise, her body felt unexpectedly weak.

“If you give it some time, your strength will recover,” the maid said, helping her sit up and adjusting the cushion behind her for support.

“Thank you,” she said, expressing her gratitude, and the maid responded with a gentle smile.

Just as she thought she heard the door open with a rough sound, Lucas quickly approached her bedside.

“Eva, you’re awake. Good. How are you feeling?”

“Lord Lucas, I apologize for causing you concern.”

“Are you really okay?”

Lucas turned towards the court physician and asked again. Seeing the physician nod, he let out a sigh.

“I’ll be heading back to work for now, but I’ll come check on you later. Take your time to rest.”

“Thank you for your consideration, even though you’re busy. I’m already fine, so please don’t push yourself.”

“I want to do this. Don’t worry about it.”

She couldn’t help but feel a desire to rely on his kind voice, and she resisted the urge to cling to it.

“Um… Lord Lucas, the pendant stone of my mother shone, and a rose branch protected me. Do you know anything about this stone?”

“First, take your time to rest. I’ll look into it.”

Eva nodded in agreement.

“That maid is from the Dacian Empire and is my subordinate. You can trust her.”

Whispering softly in her ear, Lucas smiled gently and then left the room.

“Now, I’ll return to my room. Tonight, take this medicine before sleeping. It will help you calm down. Also, I’ll leave ointment for the wounds, so apply it several times a day. Can I leave that to you?”

The maid nodded.

“If anything happens, contact me. Young lady, take your time to rest.”

After the court physician left, the maid approached Eva and greeted her by the bedside.

“I am Greta, a member of the Dacian Empire’s Knights Order. From today onwards, I will be taking care of Lady Eva. Nice to meet you, and please let me assist you.”

“Huh? A knight?”

“Yes. I’m more like an all-purpose aide to Lord Lucas than a knight. I’m honored to be appointed as the lady-in-waiting to the beautiful Lady Eva.”

Although Greta appeared graceful, Eva was surprised by her lively demeanor. Nevertheless, seeing Greta’s cheerful expression made her feel at ease. She once again felt gratitude in her heart for Lucas’s consideration.

“Is this… the royal palace?”

“Yes, Lady Eva. You are staying in this royal palace as a guest of Lord Lucas and Lord Raymond, important figures from the Dacian Empire.”

“Lord Raymond, Lord Lucas’s status… is he staying here as the prince of the Dacian Empire?”

Greta nodded.

Treating Eva as the guest of the prince of a neighboring country was likely a gesture to protect Eva from her uncles and Count Burke. It would make it difficult for the Tifris Kingdom side to harm Eva.

“Lady Eva, if it pleases you, would you like to take a bath?”

“Yes, I want to, but… my body doesn’t move much.”

“It’s probably the aftereffect of exerting too much force. It’s okay. I’ll carry you, so don’t worry.”

“Greta-san will?”

“Lady Eva, please call me Greta. I’m technically a beastkin affiliated with the Knights Order. I have strength, so it’s no problem. Now, the bath is ready. Shall we go?”


“Yes, a leopard, to be specific.”

Eva stared at her involuntarily.

“Oh, I don’t have a tail or ears. I’m of the type without them.”

Feeling embarrassed about her own rudeness, Eva lowered her gaze, and Greta spoke in a refreshing tone.

“Type without them?”

“Is this your first time meeting a beastkin?”

Feeling embarrassed for not knowing anything, Eva nodded.

“Just like there are various appearances among humans, there are different types of beastkin, some with tails and ears, and some like me without them.”

“I see. I’m sorry for not knowing. Will you teach me more in the future?”

“Yes, of course! So, I can carry you. How about it?”

“No! It’s okay! Just lend me your shoulder!”

She hurriedly replied.

Greta offered to assist with the bath.

It was embarrassing to have someone else wash her, but unable to move her body as she wished, Eva hesitated before reluctantly asking for help.

As she undressed and took a fresh look at her body, bruises were visible all over. On both wrists, the clear marks of Count Burke’s fingers were evident. It must have been from when he grabbed her. There was also a large bruise on her thigh.

Remembering the moment he grabbed her, Eva tried desperately to suppress the rising sense of fear, but her trembling wouldn’t stop.

“Lady Eva, it’s okay. It’s just the two of us here. Please rest assured,” Greta reassured her in a gentle voice, repeatedly saying it over and over, which helped calm Eva’s tremors considerably.

“Lady Eva, I’ll wash your hair. Please close your eyes. It’s fine if you fall asleep like that.”

With those words, Greta slowly washed Eva’s hair while she remained in the bathtub.

The gentle touch of Greta’s hands felt soothing, and taking advantage of the comforting words, Eva gently closed her eyes.




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